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The waiting game

GPs can expect to work over May bank holidays, signals NHS England

NHS England has made changes to the GP contract to enable the two May bank holidays to be treated as normal working days.

The contract changes - which have been put in place as part of the NHS response to the Covid-19 pandemic - had already enabled NHS England to mandate practices to open as usual for both Good Friday and Easter Monday.

NHS England is currently in discussions about what level of service practices will need to provide in May, but has pledged to give longer notice than it did for the Easter holiday.

Speaking in a live webinar yesterday evening, Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England primary care medical director, said: 'We're discussing [May bank holidays] with regions and with GPC at the moment to see what we think we need for May - both the early bank holiday and the late bank holiday.

'We want to let you know next week so that you have more time to prepare for it because we recognise that we didn't give you enough time before.'

NHS England director for primary care strategy and contracts Ed Waller added: 'A redefinition of core contract hours allows us to change arrangements around bank holidays which we did for Easter and as Nikki says we'll do for May as well.'

NHS England has said practices would be reimbursed 'in full' for extra costs incurred for opening over Easter but capped costs for extra staff at certain rates.

Other contract changes stipulate GPs need to open up their appointment books to NHS 111's Covid clinical assessment service (CCAS) and temporary cancels workloads including the Friends and Family Test.

Readers' comments (17)

  • MEANWHILE, THE WORKFORCE MEEKLY COMPLIES AGAIN

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  • Cobblers

    Don't you just love this unilateral contract?

    BTW August Bank Holiday is now a working day and don't even think about Christmas and Boxing day.

    And on into 2021, 2022.......

    As Zager and Evans once sung (1969), "In the year 2025, if GP will survive, if mankind's still alive"

    Apologies to youngsters less than 50.

    Hehehe.

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  • "We want to let you know next week so that you have more time to prepare for it because we recognise that we didn't give you enough time before."

    DOES THIS COUNT AS AN APOLOGY FOR GETTING IT WRONG ?

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  • This type of high handed action will just make sure that I will retire properly earlier than I had planned.

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  • Not good and if GPs try to protest in any way it will be broadcast as a leading article in the Daily Rant.

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  • self isolate?

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  • slippery, slippery slope... which we are all sliding down WITHOUT PROPER PPE!!!!

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  • @Honest from Yorkshire |12:53pm

    And so what if the Daily Rant broadcast this? Are we supposed to be silent because of newspaper editorials?

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  • Don’t see the point. It is much quieter now people have figured out they don’t need to see the doctor for many things as it turns out.
    This must reflect the fact that the centre is guessing rather than experiencing.
    Last bank holiday OOH was operating as well in our area.

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  • @Mini-me
    I was just thinking about the GP bashing that has gone on for years and the fact that many seem to believe we are overpaid for an easy job. Being forced to work bank holidays is dreadful but many believe we should work nights and weekends as well as f/t Monday to Friday.

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